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"SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
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dangerkitty 1913 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Herbal Healing Drugs Endorser"

06-21-01, 10:59 PM (EST)
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"SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
I was going to post this just as a thread asking for others to share their own stories. Then I decided that it would be a good challenge for me to post it as a SSC entry, since this kind of writing is definitely not in my comfort zone. Critique the writing if you like - I'd appreciate it, in fact (honest but gentle preferred ), andit would also be nice to hear your similar experiences.

********************************************


Five-Dollar Karma

“Take it,” he said. “I’ll feel better if you do.”

It was my volunteer evening at the hospital, doing Reiki for a few hours on cancer and chronic pain patients. Reiki is a type of energy healing, and recipients usually get some relief from sleeplessness and anxiety, at least; maybe a release from pain, however brief. Others feel something more profound – a sense of subtle insight into their bodies, movement of energy, a connection to something bigger. This man had felt little of that, I knew. An alcoholic, and clearly a smoker, he was being treated for liver problems and leg pain. He had the aura of a broken life, of lost potential.

He pushed the five-dollar bill towards me. I knew that he didn’t understand why I was here. Unable to accept a simple gift of time, he needed to give me the money – more than I needed to not accept it. So I took it, already vowing to give it away at my first opportunity.

Later that week, in the parking lot of Target, a man approached me. “Excuse me, ma’am, can you help me? I need $1.25 for bus fare, I don’t have any money and I’m stuck.”

Here was my chance. “I’ve been looking for someone to give this to,” I said, retrieving the bill from the special place I had tucked it in my wallet. I was relieved not to have to ponder the veracity or principle of this mans request. The money was meant to be given away, and he had presented himself. No moral dilemma; it felt good.

About a week later, I gave a friend a massage, as a thank-you for arranging a workshop space for me. When it was over, she put a five-dollar bill on my counter. “I want to give you a tip,” she said. “No, no!” I cried. “It was a gift, no tip, please!”

“Take it,” she said. “I’ll feel better if you do.”

She was determined. Sometimes it is more polite to not argue than it is to continue to protest. I let it sit on the counter.

After she left, I realized that it was the same five dollars, back in circulation. I wondered when my chance to pass it on would come.

Less than two weeks had gone by when I saw the man with the sign: Homeless. Hungry. Usually I hope that the light will turn green so that I don’t have to stop near such a fellow; if I do, I fiddle busily with the radio, avoiding eye contact, justifying to myself that it isn’t safe to open my purse and have a stranger approach the car window, anyway. But this time, I willed the light to stay red and pulled over a bit, gesturing for him to come and take the bill from my extended hand. “Good luck,” I said. It was pleasantly liberating to discard my usual rationalizations and just give the money away.

A short time later, I massaged a “barter” client: she gets an in-home massage, and I go to her salon for facials and such. This day, as I prepared to leave, she pressed a five-dollar bill into my hand. "I want to give you some gas money."

“Oh, no,” I shook my head. “There’s no need for that!”

She insisted. “Gas is expensive, and I appreciate you coming to my house. Take it. I’ll feel better if you do.”

She would not be dissuaded. I reluctantly took the money.

I must be a little slow on the uptake, because it took me until the next day to see that it was that same pesky five dollars. I smiled, knowing that I would soon get an opportunity to put it back into play.

Something else dawned on me. The broken man in the hospital - the one whom I had pitied for his wasted life - he had started all of this. Two people in need had already received his five dollars, and from the looks of it there would be many more. Now I felt better, too.


dangerkitty

This concludes tonights chapter of "Chicken Soup for the SurvivorBlows Soul".

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma Kismet 06-22-01 1
 RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma aymelek 06-22-01 2
 RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma VampKira 06-22-01 3
   RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma Survivorchick 06-22-01 9
 RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma samiam 06-22-01 4
 RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma SherpaDave 06-22-01 5
   RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma dangerkitty 06-22-01 6
       RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma SherpaDave 06-22-01 10
 RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma Drive My Car 06-22-01 7
   Sherpa, Bug, and all dangerkitty 06-23-01 12
 RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma Survivorchick 06-22-01 8
 RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma mistofleas 06-22-01 11
 RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma dabo 06-23-01 13
 RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma idiotcowboy 06-23-01 14
 RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma ItzLisa 06-24-01 15

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Messages in this topic

Kismet 802 desperate attention whore postings
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06-22-01, 08:14 AM (EST)
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1. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
Wow, DK! This is really well written, and I can't believe that you would even worry about that. It reminds me of the country song "Chain of Love". The story shows us a whole new level to DK. It makes me very happy to have you as part of our internet family as well. Thank you for posting this, my friend.

Kismet

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aymelek 1220 desperate attention whore postings
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06-22-01, 08:31 AM (EST)
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2. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
DK, this was truly an amazing story! It's great to hear of good karma coming full circle (again and again) instead of the bad kind coming to get you in the butt!

And I love doing Reike too! I haven't practiced in a while because my teacher moved away, but it's cool to know that others here are into it!

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VampKira 4433 desperate attention whore postings
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06-22-01, 08:36 AM (EST)
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3. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
DK! This was GREAT! It touched my heart, and made me remember why I started to give blood. (Yeah... thass right.. I said GIVE ) A local child needed blood desperately quite some time ago, and I donated to her. After reading in the newspaper that she may not have been saved had it not been for the local outpouring of donations.. I decided to give whenever I could.. at LEAST once a month. Lately, however I have been groaning when the time comes, because it seemed to have just become another one of my "chores". But this story, reminded me of why I began to give in the first place.. THANK YOU! (hugs DK)

*searches for her Red Cross donation card*


---------------------------------
"Let's spend the night together,
You'll wake up and live forever."
-Jamiroquai
---------------------------------
Du ar min hjälte, Supermänniska


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Survivorchick 1161 desperate attention whore postings
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06-22-01, 01:59 PM (EST)
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9. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
Once a month?! I donate blood regularly too, but in Canada we are not allowed to donate more often than every 56 days.

Survivorchick

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samiam 5976 desperate attention whore postings
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06-22-01, 10:31 AM (EST)
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4. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
DK, I loved this. It makes you think: why is money so easy to give away when you don't think of it as "yours" to begin with? And how much different would the world be if people realized money and things are transient, and that it is only the joy we create for ourselves and for others that sticks around?

Thank you. And next time we're in the bar, I could really use some Reiki...I'll even tip you $5.

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SherpaDave 8325 desperate attention whore postings
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06-22-01, 11:24 AM (EST)
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5. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
Hey, Kitty, it's your friendly neighborhood critic here. Honestly, I don't think I'd change a thing. The writing tone is very conversational and so it gets a message across without hitting people over the head with it. This allegory succeeds at doing what so many of those annoying email chain letters attempt: it makes you take a moment to question how you treat those around you, but does it in a way that doesn't make you feel like an a-hole. Really nice, DK. I liked it a lot.


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dangerkitty 1913 desperate attention whore postings
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06-22-01, 01:27 PM (EST)
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6. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
Aw, Sherpa, thanks!! And thanks everybody for your nice and wise comments.

Sherpa, really, you were like my little editor-on-my-shoulder as I wrote this, and if you do have some suggestions for me, please email me. I'd appreciate it. Also, I'm not sure what "allegory" means to you, but this is a completely true story - it all happened within the last six weeks, in fact, with the last appearance of the five dollars just last Monday. I conformed the "Take it..." quotes for effect, but I didn't change the meaning at all. This is really a very accurate recounting.

Thanks again.

dangerkitty

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SherpaDave 8325 desperate attention whore postings
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06-22-01, 03:01 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
Hey, DK. I always thought an allegory could be either fictional or non-fictional. Now you're gonna make me look for a dictionary. Really, I swear I wouldn't change anything, although I do have the same question EBug posts below. Is it the same bill? If it is, even though it's a true story, it starts to move into the realm of magic realism (which I love). And if it is, the one thing I would change would be to briefly state how you recognize it as the same bill.


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Drive My Car 20045 desperate attention whore postings
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06-22-01, 01:43 PM (EST)
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7. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
Kitty,
I got chills reading this. So wonderful this experience has been.
For you to be able to see this happening is so special.
You told it so well.

I read it to Kate, and asked her what she thought, she said it made her feel good inside. And that exactly says how I feel now.

Thank you for sharing this.

EBug

Oh and when you say the same 5 dollars, do you mean that literally? The same bill?

Everyone rent Pay it Forward, its a bit sappy at points, but the message is wonderful.

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dangerkitty 1913 desperate attention whore postings
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06-23-01, 00:31 AM (EST)
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12. "Sherpa, Bug, and all"
Thanks again for your nice comments. Makes me feel so good!

No, it isn't the actual same bill. Man, wouldn't that be a trip!! Yikes!! I think of it as the same "energy" of the five dollars. And you bring up a good point: The first time, I did tuck that bill away, and that's the one I passed on. But I haven't done that since, I've just considered that any five would do. And it's funny, one time I was out, and all of sudden I had to check and make sure I had a five, just in case. So what you reminded me is this: I want to put the actual bill that I get aside, like I did the first time. That's what I will do from now on, thank you for helping me to see this. I may not be the "same" bill that keeps showing up, but I can give away the actual bill that I get.

Bug, I am so touched that you shared this with Katie. That really makes me smile.

dangerkitty


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Survivorchick 1161 desperate attention whore postings
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06-22-01, 01:57 PM (EST)
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8. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
Oh DK I love this! It's really a wonderful story.

Survivorchick

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mistofleas 8043 desperate attention whore postings
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06-22-01, 03:21 PM (EST)
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11. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
Kitty, I'm sorry I haven't responded to this sooner, internet ickiness happening in my office. Anyway...I liked the story a lot. The wonderful magic of the wheel. "What goes around comes around" is usually used as a saying to get people to not do a "bad" thing, but really I believe it's more of a push to get people to do "good" things. Accepting the $5 each time you didn't want to, started the chain reaction of helping someone else. You're a good person and you in turn are "breeding" good people! I'm glad I know you...thanks

--gets a five ready to hand to the guy who opens the office door for me each night
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dabo 26557 desperate attention whore postings
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06-23-01, 00:38 AM (EST)
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13. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
dangerkitty, this was simply a marvelous tale, true-life karma! Many thanks for sharing this.

"If the race of man should be left naked upon a desert island, we should become extinct in six weeks. A few individuals might linger, but in a year would become worse than monkeys." (Samuel Butler, "Erewhon")

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idiotcowboy 1135 desperate attention whore postings
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06-23-01, 10:33 AM (EST)
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14. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
Very nice story DK. I liked it and am glad you shared it (the story and the $5)

-ICB

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ItzLisa 3350 desperate attention whore postings
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06-24-01, 09:23 AM (EST)
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15. "RE: SSC(NF) Five-Dollar Karma"
Kittens, this is wonderful!!! I really believe in stuff like this, and the fact that you entered it under non-fiction just reinforces it for me! Thanks for sharing it with us, babe!

****************************************

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